SEASONED Carling Black Label national pool finals campaigner Paul a�?Machesoa�? Mutizo will on Saturday lead Team Bulawayo to face top competitors from across Zimbabwe at the annual championship finals that will take place at Gwerua��s Barn Sports Club.
Mutizo, who has beenA� to the finals a record six consecutive years, qualified to represent the City of Kings and Queens in Gweru together with Promise Madzivanyika, Tafadzwa Mutindafa, Lucy Mpofu and Carol Dube after doing well at the regional contest.
Mpofu and Dube will play in the womena��s category where they are likely to face stiff competition from Zvishavanea��s Flatter a�?Heavya�? Moyo and Priscilla Chimsoro who interestingly in the past editions represented the City of Kings.
Mutizo vowed that this was going to be his year.
a�?I have been in these finals for so many years and I believe this is my year. The top prize has to come to Bulawayo. In 2014, I was the first runner-up and it was a so-near-yet-so-far development that has kept me going,a�? said Mutizo who turns out for Bulawayo Pool Associationa��s Kings at club level.
Mpofu said she was not worried about Moyo and Chimsoroa��s presence at the finals as she greatly knew the duoa��s style of play.
a�?I have played against Moyo and Chimsoro several times in Bulawayo. I know their style of play and I think they are not going to be a threat in my quest to bring the first prize in Bulawayo. Nothing will stop us,a�? she said.
Initially, Masvingo was set to play host to the national competition whose 18 regional matches were completed on 26 October.
Delta Beverages marketing manager Patricia Murambinda said they were looking forward to having a bigger and exciting event.
a�?We are expecting to have a bigger and exciting event after we increased our regional competitions from 10 to 18 this year. It means an increased coverage and more players areA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� going to fight for the top prize,a�? she said.
The national contest roared into life on 1 October on a regional basis that saw lovers of the billiards outclass each other in Bulawayo, Gwanda, Beitbridge,A� Gweru, Zvishavane, Hwange, Marondera, Victoria Falls, Beitbridge, Chinhoyi, Chipinge, Masvingo, Mutare, Karoi, Mutotoko, Chegutu, Rusape, Harare and Kwekwe among other centres up to the end of last month.
Over 2 000 pool players were expected to participate in the regional and national competitions this year, an increase of about 700 players compared to last year.
The last national finals tournament was held successfully in Bulawayo at Raylton Sports Club and Delta Beverages, through its Carling Black Label brand, has contributed tremendously to the development of pool in Zimbabwe.
In 2015, Chitungwiza dominated the finals with Tendai Mubaiwa walking away US$1 000 richer after winning the mena��s category.
Mubaiwa beat Hillary Mukamuri of Harare into second position, with Wilfred Potokosi of Chitungwiza coming third.
The womena��s final was won by Shamiso Musiiwa of Mutare after beating Sibongile Makuya of Chitungwiza.
A total of 64 players participated in the mena��s category while 16 women battled for honours.